I save quotes from the Jack’s Winning Words blog because I think I’ll someday use them to inspire a post here. That was the case with today’s quote – “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” (Chinese Proverb)
Every now and then something that we meant to do just gets left behind and forgotten. We get busy with other things or other people and leave projects unfinished or let old friends drift away. I saw a recent episode of Chasing Classic Cars in which a man was selling a 1978 Datsun 280 Z that he had parked in his garage 40 years earlier. He had purchased the car and put about 2,000 miles on it during the summer months. He had some small problems with it, so he parked it in the fall with the intention of getting it out in the spring and make the needed repairs. Some 40 years later, the car still sat exactly where he had parked it and now he had decided that he was probably never going to get around to those repairs and it was time to sell.
Life is full of little stories like that, which usually use the words coulda, woulda, shoulda somewhere in the telling.
You have old friends that you used to be very close with, but life got in the way and now it’s been years since you’ve talked. You had a favorite bar or restaurant that you used to hang out in, but you started trying new things and it’s been a long time since you visited your old haunt. Maybe you promised your mom that you’d come visit her regularly in the retirement home, but with the kids school activities and other things putting demands upon you, you just didn’t get the time.
Maybe it’s not an old thing that has been forgotten but a dream that was never pursued. Perhaps you always meant to get back to school and finish up that degree, but family came along and there was always a reason to put it off. Maybe it was that sport that you hoped to take up or that hobby that you always wanted to pursue. Perhaps it was that person that you always wanted to meet or ask out, but were to shy to approach.
Whatever the unfinished things are that sit in the back of your mind and nag at you every now and then, the time is now. The tomorrows that you promised yourself you would use to do those things eventually run out. Stop putting things off and just do them. Realize that it’s not that you don’t have the time, it’s that you aren’t using that time that you have to do the things that you want to do. You are letting the living of your life get in the way of the life that you’d like to be living. Take back control of your life and do the things that you’ve been putting off.
So, get that old dream out of your mental garage, dust it off and make it happen. Rekindle old relationships and fulfill old obligations. Do the things that you coulda, woulda and shoulda been doing.
It’s a great time to plant that tree today!